The ambience of the house was its best feature - its interior is like the interior film set of a French family drama in a big old family house. Wooden staircases, higgledy piggledy rooms with scrabble sets in alcoves, kitchen with Maman's rectangular wooden table - it might be Nanny McPhee's French getaway.
If you're just wealthy with no class, you'll think you're slumming it but, if you don't need to sit on a Prada couch to relax, you'll feel properly away from it all. The bedrooms have the same feel as those fantastic pensiones you stayed the night in in Spain, Italy, etc, before you had kids: sash windows, severe stand-alone wardrobes, disused fireplaces.
Outside, a massive garden for the kids to play in (they spent endless hours in the pool) and an al fresco dining area where we did all our eating.
You might need a mosquito repellent plug for the nights, and you'll definitely need flypaper for the kitchen (and the surrounding countryside's smells very occasionally remind you cattle aren't far away) but these small irritants won't matter unless you're a member of the Sex in the City cast.
We were a grandmother, two brothers, our wives and children, nine in all, and there was plenty of room for all of us to have our space, and to come together too. A great week.
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